Monday, June 4, 2012

Pine Canyon Loop

Tonto National Forest
Pine, Arizona
Mileage - 26.4
Time - 5:33
AEG - 4,999 ft

Jeremy sent out a few emails this past week to see if anyone was interested in running part of the Mogollon Monster 100 course on Sunday, and actually had a few takers.  I say it like that because this race takes place on some very rugged terrain with a great deal of elevation gain, so going into the run, we knew it would be tough.  Sure enough, it was.  The time I have listed above was our "running" time, but it took us over 7 hours to complete a marathon distance.

Things weren't all bad, we had a great group of people for the run including Honey, Rudolph, Michael, Jeremy and myself..  If you want to talk scenery, this section of the Mogollon Rim is hard to beat, especially Pine Canyon!  The route we followed began at the Pine trailhead and took Pine Canyon trail #26 a little over 8 miles to the top of the rim, where we followed Jeremy through the forest on what he claimed to be the General Crook trail.  Once we came across Milk Ranch Road (10 miles in), we continued on it for a while until a sign for Turkey Springs led us back into the forest.  A big descent awaited us at the edge of the rim, we dropped down 2000+ feet in 2 miles where we intersected the Geronimo trail.  This led the 5 of us to the Geronimo trailhead where we stashed 2 gallons of water to refill our bottles.  It was noon at this point and we had another 8 miles of exposed trail left along the Highline before finishing.  Roughly 2 hours later we were back at the car and ready to down some cold drinks.  Those brave individuals entering the MM100 in September really have a lot to look forward to.  The beauty of this old growth forest and uniqueness of the landscape will certainly reward your efforts!  

Pine Canyon Trailhead

Michael on the rim above Pine Canyon

Preparing to descend Turkey Springs

View from Turkey Springs Trail

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